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Calgary Citizen Satisfaction Survey Is Flawed

During a recent podcast interview ( Cross Border Podcast ) I commented that I felt the City of Calgary Citizen Satisfaction Survey had a flaw. This survey tends to get used by administration and council to justify decisions on spending but my comment was that it doesn't represent a fair sample of Calgarians, and could under represent tax payers. This is because when the phone calls are made for the survey, the city immediately asks to speak to the youngest person in the household over the age of 18. I surmised that this bias could skew the results towards those in the household that are less likely to be footing the bill for the taxes.

It seems that a recent Leger poll tends to agree with me. From a news article on the poll:


Municipal taxes

Leger’s survey also probed Calgary respondents for their views on property taxes.

The survey found 49 per cent of Calgarians wanted property taxes to be frozen, even if it meant cuts to city services would be required, while 36 per cent said they wanted services to be maintained or improved, even if it resulted in a tax increase; about 13 per cent didn’t know which they preferred.

Younger respondents and women were less likely to agree that property taxes should be frozen.


Compare this result to a snippet from the presentation by administration to council on the most recent satisfaction survey:

Maybe you should ask your councillor why the survey is biased toward the youngest people in the household and see what the response is.

The complete City of Calgary Survey results can be found here:

And the full news story on the Leger poll here:

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